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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

HIST 451 - Senior Seminar Preparation - Dr. Sarah Judson - Fall 2019: Special Collections and Primary Resources

Special Collections Hours

Special Collections is open the following hours:

Monday & Tuesday - 12:00 - 5:00 PM

Wednesday & Thursday 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

We are also available by appointment.


You can also reach us at 251-6645 or via email:

Citing Primary Sources in Chicago/Turabian Style

UNCA's Special Collections, in collaboration with UNCA History Faculty, developed this guide to citing primary sources in Chicago/Turabian style:

Guide to Citing Primary Sources

UNCA's Special Collections

What are Special Collections?

Ramsey Library's Special Collections contain a variety of primary materials that document the history and culture of Asheville and Western North Carolina.  Materials include manuscript collections, photographs, maps, oral histories, company records, scrapbooks, and other materials.

Special Collections also includes rare and small-press books and pamphlets, with an emphasis on Asheville and the surrounding region.

We are also here to help you find primary resources in other collections. Contact Gene Hyde or Colin Reeve in Special Collections and we will be glad to help you locate primary materials in other collections.

How to use Special Collections and Archives

What can I expect to find in an archive or special collection?

  • Archives and special collections can contain manuscript collections, personal papers, business records, photograph collections, oral histories, maps, audio and video recordings, rare books and periodicals, university and/or corporate records, and other sources. Because archives and special collections contain unique materials, each archive and special collection has its own distinct set of materials. Often an archive has a particular collection focus or concentration - for instance, UNCA's Special Collections concentrates on collecting materials related to Asheville and Western North Carolina, but there are exceptions to this general rule. For instance, we have a lot of materials related to World War I.

What is a "finding aid," and how do I use it?

  • Finding aids describe what you can expect to find in a collection. Finding aids will include such information as:
    • the title of the collection
    • a description of what's in the collection
    • information about the person or organization who created the collection
    • citation information
    • how big the collection is (sometimes called "extent" and stated in linear or cubic feet)
    • a list of what is in each box in the collection (sometimes called "container list" or "collection inventory")
  • Here's an example of a finding aid, in this instance for the Julian Price Papers and Recordings in UNCA's Special Collections:
  • Finding aids can look different and have variations on the types of information in them. This is another, older finding aid for the Upper French Broad Defense Association from UNCA's Special Collection. While it looks different it still has the same basic information:


Head of Special Collections & University Archivist

Gene Hyde's picture
Gene Hyde
Special Collections, Ramsey Library
(828) 251-6645